Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, on Thursday in Ado Ekiti announced his withdrawal from the Ekiti governorship race.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ojudu, who made his decision public at a press conference, alleged that the process leading to Saturday’s rescheduled governorship primary of Ekiti All Progressives Congress (APC) was designed to favour one of the 33 aspirants.
The former federal lawmaker also hinged his withdrawal on the inability of other aspirants to reach a consensus on presenting one among themselves in the shadow election.
“We have worked very hard, but like you all know, hard work is never the sole prerequisite for success in politics.
“Through the embarrassing events of last weekend’s botched Ekiti governorship primary election, its aftermath in the state, and the efforts of our revered leaders from the Southwest this week to save our dear party from ruination in Ekiti State, I have learned many lessons
” Key among the lessons is that you never can tell the man who will attempt to destroy what many others have built from one who will aspire to elevate that which is thrust into his hands,’’ Ojudu said.
“We do not believe in engaging in an unfair contest and I am not ready to step on blood to get to power.
“ As I have reiterated at different times in the course of the campaign, this was never about me. It was not about an ambition but a mission to give a new lease of life to Ekiti State and the people.
“It was about safeguarding the future of our children, our grandchildren, great grandchildren and even generations yet unborn.
“ There is no doubt that we all love this land, that everyone of you had best hopes and aspiration for this beautiful state we call ours and that above all, this state should wear a new look, be adorned with a new reputation and have a new image of itself
“One other important lesson I learnt in the last one week is that one can only truly appreciate the true intent of one’s co-travellers on a journey when the chips are down
“At this point, I would like to appreciate the co-aspirants who were open to discussions aimed at resolving the imbroglio
“We also appreciate our southwest leaders for their intervention in the crisis. We thank them for their sage counsel.
“ I want to especially thank Chief Bisi Akande, Aremo Segun Osoba and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for trying to help untangle the web that the Ekiti governorship primary election has become.
“As a leader and party chieftain, I will inspire a new generation of leaders – of young professionals, businessmen and technocrats to re-enter our politics and change this state. Only then can we have men and women of honour who will take Ekiti out of the wilderness and restore her to her pride of place.
“At the national level, I will continue to support Mr President in ensuring party reforms. I will work hard to ensure that never again is our party thrown to desperate men who feed on monetary inducements and undermine their own party.
“ This movement continues but I would be stepping down immediately as a governorship aspirant to focus on this new mission,’’ Ojudu said.